Welcome to the third installment of Operation Find a Hobby. This round I tried scrapbooking. Now, I shall admit I have some limited exposure to scrapbooking. A few of my family members used to do it constantly. So I was able to get some first hand guidance. But, before I get any further if you have not see my previous posts in this series, you can find them here; Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction, Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery, and Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle. Now lets get into my experience trying scrapbooking!
So first things first, I needed to figure out the actual purpose of a scrapbook. Now, this may just sound silly, but I felt like there was more to it than just taping pictures together. So, a quick google search gave me this definition thanks to Merriam-Webster.
Definition of scrapbook : a blank book in which various items (such as newspaper clippings or pictures) are collected and preserved
For me this still did not seem right. So I decided to actually go to some family members who used to/still scrapbook. I liked their definition a bit better.
Without rambling to much they pretty much told it is a way to celebrate and remember memories, milestones, and events. Creating a scrapbook was a celebration, anyone can just put their photos and such in an album. But, creating a scrapbook and taking the time to create a page from nothing is giving value to the memory and honoring it. That seemed a bit more appropriate to me. Mainly because of the effort that people put into scrapbooks. When I was searching for some ideas/inspiration and from previous layout there were some detailed layouts. It seemed more than just “preserving items”.
Now with scrapbooking you need supplies and some of these can get expensive. Let’s just say I used quite a bit of coupons and waited for the supplies to go on sale. I also raided the closets of loved ones. While I was confident I would like this hobby, I was not comfortable with investing a lot of money in a maybe.
I also felt that this hobby needed a but more planning than the previous ones I have tried. Completing a puzzle, all I needed to do was buy one. With Embroidery I was able to buy just one kit and complete it. These were more or less already set up for me where scrapbooking is something I would have to come up with from nothing. So I decided I needed a focus before I went and bought everything.
I ended up deciding that I would use my book to highlight a year and each layout would focus on a month. I then expanded on this and came up with a color pallet; yellow, green, pink, gray, and off white. With this I was able to get the creative supplies and the practical ones. Once I collected them from either the store or from others I got to work making my March pages for my scrapbook.
On this page I wanted to highlight the books I read this past month. So I printed out each of the covers and then decided to highlight my top three, which you can see at the center. I also wanted to remember that I got a new netgalley badge so I added those images to this page as well. I thought the pattern change at the center and the leaf stamps made the page pop a bit more. I will be keeping this method in mind for the future.
On this page I made it a bit more personal. I highlighted a conversation with an author I adore, even though it was totally not substancial in the eyes of some. For me I never thought I would have the guts to talk and ask one of my fav. authors a questions and actually hear back from them. I also added the description of my new netgalley badge on this page. Another things I added that I love is the buddy reads I did this month and who I was reading them with. Just a heads up if you ever want to buddy read a book you can always tweet or message me. If I can chances are I will buddy read a book with you. I find them so much fun!
Okay, I have to say that I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun to just take the time and make this. While it did take time. It took a lot less than putting a puzzle together, thats for sure. I enjoyed picking through my memories and deciding which bookish ones I wanted to remember and honor. I really just enjoyed the entire process, for me this was almost therapeutic. It is very rare that I truly take “me time”, so doing this was almost like meditating and made me more mindful and reflective on the things I have done over the past month.
I also loved that this was create and I was able to make something with my own hands. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to talk to my family members about something I had never talked to them about before. It was nice having a new topic to discuss. Overall, I have to say that this hobby is a winner and I am going to be doing it again in the future.
Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!
Welcome to my second experiment with finding a new hobby. This month I decided to take a shot at putting together a puzzle. I also want to take this time to thank all of you who have suggested hobbies for me to try. I have them all written down and I plan on trying quite a few of them. Also, if this is your first time seeing my Operation Find a Hobby series you can find the other two posts here: Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction , Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery. Without anymore delayed here is my experiment with putting together a puzzle.
Now, I have always hated doing puzzles. So you may ask, “Luna, why are you trying to put together a puzzle if you hate it?” That is a very normal question that I can only answer with, I don’t know. I always found them to be annoying and time consuming. I never thought the payoff was really worth it. So I thought, why not try it? It has been YEARS, maybe my view has changed.
With this experiment I decided to try and give puzzles the best shot. I chose a 500 piece puzzle, 1000 was just to much for an amateur like it. I also decided to get a puzzle I thought was very beautiful and tied to something I already liked. So I happened to be in a local hobby shop and I happened to find a book inspired puzzle. Honestly, what are the chances of that?
The puzzle I picked up was a Nancy Draw one, it consisted of 27 book covers and 5 illustrations pulled from the stories and quotes. They style of the illustrations were varies and I found that to beautiful. It was like seeing an evolution of the character. Below you will see a picture of the puzzle box. If you really like it here is an amazon link to the product, it is not an affiliate link. COBBLE HILL Nancy Drew Mysteries Jigsaw Puzzle.
So a night when I had nothing planned I decided to break out my crafting mat and get to work. I decided to work on the floor so the mat was necessary for the puzzle to lie flat. From a young age everyone always told me to put together the edges of a puzzle first so that is what I did. Now this is just me being curious, does everyone put puzzles together this way or do some of you just find pieces and start putting them together? Anyway here is a picture of when I got the edge of the puzzle put together and the second photo is of the finished product.
First off I will say, NEVER do a puzzle on the floor. My back, which never really hurt me, was so sore and it hurt. For the next few days I had to continuously stretch it until it got better. Complete a puzzle at a table where you can sit at a chair and you wont be bent over for so long.
Anyway, the puzzle took me about 4-5 hours to complete. The pieces were approximately 3/4 of an inch roughly 2 cm, in diameter so they weren’t horribly small so I was able to see a great deal of detail in a lot of the pieces. Others were pretty difficult like the illustrations that were not on the book covers.
Overall, I will admit I was not a huge fan of putting together a puzzle. That is not to say I hated it. While I was very happy when I finished, I just found that it was not a huge pay off for my 4-5 hours. I could have written a bunch of blog posts, read a book, or embroidered something and felt more accomplished. I just don’t think I have the personality for puzzles, I envy those who do. I am going to keep this puzzle and maybe do it with a group of friends one day, but I don’t think I will be buying anymore.
Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!
Welcome to my first experiment with finding a new hobby. This month I decided to take a shot at embroidery. You know, where you somehow take a needle and colored thread and make a very beautiful design. Honestly, some of the pictures I have seen have blown my mind. Now I have tried this one in the past, so I thought it was a perfect place to start. A few months back I even reviewed an embroidery book because I dabbled in it. You can find that here: REVIEW | Coloring with Thread by Tula Pink.
When I finally decided that I would give this a real try I scoured the web for patterns and raided my local craft store. I also raided the homes of one of my friends who had a ton, A TON, of thread to spare. While I want to try a new hobby, I didn’t want to invest a ton of money in it. In my exploration I found an awesome etsy shop called StudioMME. Here she has a ton of kits for projects and she also has a subscription service where you get a kit sent once a month to your house. This included the fabric with stencil, thread, and directions all I needed to buy was a hoop and some needles. I placed my order right away!
The main reason I approached this hobby by getting kits was due to the fact I had no idea how to pick thread, determine how much I needed or how to properly transfer patterns. I felt like the best way to truly test this hobby was to have everything could have messed up on picked by someone who knew what they were doing. This way I could truly see if I enjoyed it without the possibility of me just getting frustrated at my own mistakes.
Here is the progression of me doing some of the embroidery.
So embroidery is not something that is done quickly, it takes a lot of time and concentration. One thing I learned was you need to be very careful where you place your needle, because it will show up uneven if you aren’t super careful. You can kind of see an example of this if you look at the letter C. Over all I am very proud of what I created. I have never finished a project previously and for the first time I don’t think it is that bad.
I also enjoyed the process. Every time I sat down to work on my welcome pineapple I would either catch up on a television show on netflix or listening to an audiobook. Even with all the concentration it was very relaxing. I found myself rushing home a few times so I could work on it. Something I never thought I would do.
Verdict: I will 100% continue doing this. In fact I already started a new project!
Even though I have found something new I enjoy, I still want to explore more hobbies.
So you know how everyone says, “New year, new me” in January? Well, this series is along those lines. In December I decided to take part in the Reddit Secret Santa and Holiday Card Exchange, it was so much fun! Well, if you are unfamiliar with this it is a gift exchange through a website called reddit.com. If you have never looked into, I suggest you do. Anyway, to take part in this Secret Santa you need to fill out a questionnaire and about things you enjoy, organizations you like, and a question that asked about my hobbies.
This question took me such a long time because the only thing I could come up with is reading. I am not saying that reading is not a good hobby, I was just surprised I could not even come up with a second one. I ended up asking my boyfriend and my best friend for help. They too could not name anything other than reading. I’m not sure exactly why, but this really hit me.
I think it really bothered me because I realized I did not have time to try new things. I think it bothered me because I thought I was defined by more than just reading. I think it bothered me because I seemed so one dimensional. Now I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with just having reading as a hobby, reading is a great hobby! I just realized I want to have more. I want to spend my time doing multiple things I love doing. I want to grow.
So, if you could not tell by the name this series is going to be about me trying a new hobby every month. I think it will be a lot of fun taking a month to learn something new and maybe even learn more about myself.
I know this is not book related, but I hope you will all join me on this little adventure. And, who knows maybe I can do some of these new hobbies while I listen to a good ol’ audiobook.
If you have any suggestions for hobbies, I would love to hear them.
Hello Everyone, I just wanted to share my most recent trip to the bookstore. So for this bookstore adventure I decided to stick a little closer to home and go to The Strand in NYC.
Here is a little show on my walk over to the store. Looking at the traffic makes me happy I am a walker. I have always preferred to walk to places if I can, I feel like I get to see more and I have an opportunity to take a side trip if something catches my eye.
Here is the outside of The Strand, if you have not heard about this bookstore it has the tagline “18 miles of books”. It has new, used, and out of print books so there is something for everyone.
Here is a picture I took in a one of the bookstore nooks. I did not take many pictures because it was very busy that day and I wanted to respect the privacy of others. I did end up spending about an hour and a half in the store. Most of that time I was just scanning the shelves to find something that caught my eye.
This is a book I have read already, but I borrowed it from the library. I enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted a copy of my own as long as it was not so much. I ended up finding this in the standard size for only $10.00, even though the same edition next to it was $20.00. So I added it to my heavy pile of books.
Now that you have all of your supplies it is time to get to work. Now I picked up a pack of wood flooring so my wood snapped together for added structure. Using regular wood is also great, I just love things being very sturdy.
In this step is it very important to plan how you want your background to look. You have a few options you can have your wood planks all the same size like a picnic table or you can stagger them like flooring. In this picture you can see I lined up all of my wood and marked with a pencil where I want to cut my wood. Now I wanted the planks to be staggered so not only did I mark my planks to be cut the same size, I also marked the random cuts I needed to make. Either way is great, just make sure you measure and plan because once the wood is cut you wont be able to change it.
Step 2: Cut, Be Careful!
While cutting you can either have it done at a local hardware store if you know your dimensions or you can do it at home. You can use a hand saw or a power saw (use at your own risk), but I *highly advise you to ask someone who knows what they are doing* with these tools. They can be very dangerous. If you are younger ask an older family member to help you. Below you can see all my planks of wood cut up.
Step 3: Place the Wood Back Together
At this point place your planks back in the right order. If you cut your wood so it is staggered you can make this step easier by numbering your pieces of wood. This way they are easy to keep track of and you will not waste time trying to find the right pieces to put back together.
Step 4: Securing
To secure the pieces of wood together by cutting another piece of wood to run the length across both the top and bottom of the backside of your backdrop. To see a visual of this you can look at the picture below. You can either secure this by using nails, screws, or wood glue. I used wood glue. If you use wood glue as well make sure you follow the directions on the bottle.
Step 5: (Optional) Let it Dry
If you are using wood glue it is essential that you make sure the wood does not shift while it is drying. I used a vice grip and a very heavy bucket to ensure this. You do not need fancy tools for this, anything heavy will do. Once it is completely dry you are ready to take beautiful pictures on a brand new background.
Hello everyone, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t know what to read next. Most of the time I pick my next read based off of what catches my eye, but sometimes that does not work. So I decided to make a TBR jar. Now of course I went to youtube to get some inspiration. I ended up getting inspiration from J. Bookish , although I did tweak it a bit because I did not want to wait overnight for it to dry. Now on to the DIY project!
Step One: Get the Supplies
You need a jar, Mod Podge, gel food coloring, a few paper plates, a paint brush, and any decorations you may want. I picked up wooden letters and a few small paper flowers. Depending on the decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun or super glue.
Step Two: Add Some Color
For this step you are going to take your jar and add some Mod Podge, I recommend adding more than you think you will need. Then add a little bit of the gel food coloring. For the coloring I suggest starting off with a little and mixing it, then you can add more if you would like the color to be darker. Stir, stir, stir until everything is evenly mixed. This is important because it will show later on if it is not mixed correctly. P.S. don’t stir to quickly you will get air bubbles.
Step 3: Turn That Jar!
Now that your color is mixed you need to slowly rotate while slowly turning it side ways. This will evenly distruble the mixture inside the jar. If done to quickly you may have uneven coverage and air bubble.
Once your entire jar is covered continue to rotate it and pour the extra color mixture onto a plate. Get as much of this out as you can because it will speed up your drying time.
Step Four: Let it Dry
When as much of the liquid is out you place it upside down on a plate. Now at this point you have two options:
You can leave it like this and let it dry over night and continue tomorrow
Set oven to warm or 175 degrees F. Place the jar upside down for 10 min. on top of wax paper or foil. When those 10 min. are up it is now time to flip your jar over so the opening is facing up and keep in oven for another 20-30 min. If you take it out of the oven and there is still streaking you may need to leave it in for a bit longer.
While it is air drying or you are baking it in the oven now is a great time to either print and cut out the books on your TBR or hand write them. Even though I did not add reading challenges I think that could also be a fun idea.
Step 5: The Fun Part, It’s Time to Decorate!
Here are a few of the decorations I picked up, you can get whatever it is you like. I did not end up using everything.
Sorry you cannot really see the color of my jar in this picture. I had to place it on an oven mitt to protect my floor. Yes, I was to lazy to wait over night, I wanted to decorate! Anyway, I suggest planning out what you are going to place on your jar. As you can see in the top left I picked out my letters and flowers and laid them out. Now depending on what decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun, use some more of the glue we used earlier, or you have picked something that already has adhesive on it.
Step Six: Put in Your TBR Titles
Here is my final TBR jar. I really love how the color came out. It is light enough you can see all the papers inside, but dark enough that it colorful. I hope you enjoyed this little bookish DIY. I love this DIY because it is so customizable and does not require a lot of supplies. It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.
A few weeks ago I drove a few hours to Princeton University and walk around the historic campus and downtown. To my amazement when we were walking around the downtown I found a cute little bookstore that I HAD to go into. Let’s just say I spent an hour in here easily.
What cause my eye first about this bookstore was the fact that they had 6 or 7 tables out front piled high with books. Not only were there so many outside they were ALL on sale! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when books are on sale. It means I can buy more and not feel as guilty about spending money on them.
When I finally combed through all of the sale books I headed inside dragging my friend along. The inside was bright and beautiful. There were books on two floors. There were displays by subjects, new releases, ancient texts, and classics. What I liked the most was the wide range of non-fiction that I don’t normally find in my local bookstores. So jealous of people who live a reasonable distance away from this place. Here are a few pictures I was able to take inside the shop.
After spending about an hour in this store I ended up leaving with three gorgeous books. Still so sad I have to travel hours to get to this place!
I think I want to plan some more day trips to far off bookstores. On a side note, this campus is just as beautiful as the bookshop!
What is your favorite bookstore you love to visit?
Since this weekend is filled with family I thought it would be fun to share some funny book related stories or antidotes dealing with my family.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling
So when I was younger for some reason I refused to read the Harry Potter series. I am not sure why I did not want to read it, but I was determined not to read it. On the other hand my Aunt Patty who I called Uncle Patty, because it sounded better, was determined to get me to read it. She started reading them as they were published and recognized them as something I would love, I was just a suborn child lol. She bought be a different edition nearly every time she came over. I had a first edition, large print, UK edition, mass market paper back, paper back, and probably more. She was trying her best to get my to read my now beloved series. Then one year she decided to take another approach. She bought me to a midnight release party at a legit castle. It was the most magnificent thing I have seen. The castle was lit up just like Hogwarts, everyone was in costume, and there was even a Diagon Alley set up where you could buy pets, brooms, and your supplies for Hogwarts. It was here I began to want a pet toad so I could be like Neville. My Aunt rightfully said, “I think you should ask your mom first”. Sadly, I was so young I cannot remember if it was the 4th book or not, but I do know that it was a magical night that bought the books to life for me and I have absolutely loved the books since. So moral of the story is, I am stubborn and the only way to make me read something is to bring me to a castle.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Alright, so this one is another story of where I boycott a book also dealing with my Aunt Patty. When I was younger I would spend weekends at my Aunt’s house. At this time she did not have her son, but often watched my older cousins and I. Even though she LOVED to read, she only had one children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Well, every night that I slept over she would read it to me. Once I was all tucked in she would pull it out and sit beside me a read. Week after week, month after month, quite frankly even though I have “heard” the story so many times I cannot remember what happens, I think I tuned it out. Anyway, it got to a point I would pretend to go to sleep so she would stop reading the story. I would put my head facing away so she could not see my eye, incase them moved. In my defense, you can only listen to the same story so many times before it gets boring. The funny part is my Aunt and I talked last year about this and she had no idea I was pretending to sleep. Then she told me I never really heard to entire story because she would change a particular part as she read because she didn’t want to scare me. So as it turns out we were fooling each other in a way. When we finally talked about it we had a really great laugh.
I hope you enjoyed this funny little stories, do you have any funny bookish stories? If you do I would love to hear them!
Most of the time my reading is done on the weekends. During the week I am working
everyday and when I come home I am tired. I just want to come home and turn off my brain for fear that it might overload. So, this leaves me with a lot of reading on the weekend. Now, since I don’t have work on the weekends, most weekends. I read anytime of day I can. If I have I have plans in the afternoon I will read in the morning and at night. If I have plans at night I read from the moment I wake up to the moment I need to start getting ready. I love reading and I make time for it, any time.
I tend to read in two different places. Out of the two I prefer to read outside. I love reading outside, I find it relaxing and it removes me from a lot of the distractions in my life. Now, since this is outside I can’t only read here, but I wish I could! I tend to read outside in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, as long as it is not raining out or very windy. There is nothing more annoying than the wind turning the pages for you and you accidentally get spoiled.
The second place I like to read is in my room. I read either in my bed, or in my arm chair. I enjoy reading here is because it is my space, I can turn off the T.V. burn a candle and control the atmosphere. I can once again remove distractions from this room. The only down side is that sometimes you cannot tell other people to turn down the television. So I still get distracted or side tracked.
What I “need”:
When I read I personally do not “need” much. I say “need” and not need because if I did not have these things I could still read. When I read I love to be comfortable, I tend to read for long periods of time. So I usually throw on my PJs or some yoga pants before I crack open my book. I also need quiet, now when I say quiet I do not mean the absence of sound. I mean I need to not hear people talking, that sounds so harsh, but is it true. Sorry! Hearing conversations or lyrics of a song distracts me personally and it stops me from getting involved in my book, which takes away from the reading experience. On the other hand, I do love listening to classical or instrumental music and the sounds of nature while I am reading.
When I am outside I really only need a comfortable place, my book, and a source of music. When I am inside I light a candle, get a comfortable blanket to wrap myself in, and put on some music. The candle I pick is usually something I think would go with the book. I am fortunate enough to have family and friends who make candles so I get gifted them often. Lighting a candle and changing the smell of the room, helps me feel like I am entering the world that was created between the pages. Also, another bonus to this is that when I light the candle outside of reading it reminds me of the story and characters.
So there are my reading habits/reading routine. I hope you enjoyed!